MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is preparing charges for preliminary investigation against pasaway (incorrigible) senatorial candidates and party-list groups that have repeatedly ignored notices to take down their illegal posters since the start of the campaign period.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Tuesday said administration Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros had the most number of notices for her illegal posters.
Agency records showed she had been served four separate notices since Feb. 20, the latest for an illegal poster spotted in Cainta, Rizal.
“This is her fourth notice. She has received the most number of notices so far,” said Brillantes in a press briefing yesterday.
Three notices each have also been sent to Team PNoy candidates Bam Aquino and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Aquino’s illegal posters were spotted along the West Service Road in Parañaque City and Kamuning and E. Rodriguez Streets in Quezon City, Brillantes said.
Ads on cabs
Reelectionist Sen. Francis Escudero was served his second notice, this time for his “A-Plus” paint ads that are placed on taxicabs. “Taxi operators carrying Senator Escudero’s ads will be summoned [and] the cancelation of their franchises is also on the way,” the Comelec chief said.
The Comelec law department, headed by Esmeralda Ladra, has also sent a notice each to Senators Loren Legarda and Gringo Honasan, Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Rep. Jack Enrile to remove their posters that are outside designated common posters areas.
“The preliminary investigation is important because it will give them a chance to defend themselves,” said the Comelec chief.
Former Tarlac Gov. Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, who is running with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial ticket, was notified that her posters were “hazardously nailed” to electric posts in Mabalacat, Pampanga, Brillantes said.
For party-list groups, the “topnotcher” poster violators were the LPG Marketers Association and the Kabataan Party-list, which have been sent four notices each. “This is the most number of notices sent to party-list groups,” he said.
Only 1 actual violation
Notices were also sent a second time to the Sanlakas, Anak Mindanao and Gabriela party-lists.
Akbayan, Bagong Henerasyon, A-Teacher, An Waray, ACT-CIS, Binhi, 1-Bro-PGBI, Umalab Ka, Kalinga, 1-Sagip, Katribu and Abroad have also been sent notices for their illegal posters.
“They are pasaway, which means they are not following the rules. It has been specified in our resolution; in criminal law they are already considered recidivists,” said Brillantes.
In a statement Tuesday, Hontiveros said that while she received four notices from the Comelec, only one pertained to an actual violation.
“Notices are not de facto rulings on violations of Comelec guidelines on campaign materials and activities,” she said.